Mercedes-Benz GLE vs. the Competition


Staff Member

The all-new GLE-class will replace the M-class, promising even more versatility with a wide range of powertrains. The GLE350 boasts a 302-hp V-6 with rear-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. The GLE400 4MATIC will offer a twin-turbo V-6 good for 329 hp and all-wheel drive. The GLE300d 4MATIC will have a 201-hp turbo-diesel four with all-wheel drive. And for the first time in a Benz SUV, there’ll be a plug-in hybrid: the GLE550e 4MATIC with a total of 436 hp. Expect the new SUVs in August.



Unrestrained styling, raucous power, and surprising agility have always defined the X6?and this latest revision delivers much of the same. A 300-hp 3.0-liter turbo inline-six with an eight-speed automatic can be ordered with either rear or all-wheel drive. An audacious 445-hp 4.4-liter turbo V-8 is optional and comes only with all-wheel drive. The standard Driving Dynamics Control system allows for five distinct driving modes and an available air suspension provides even more fine-tuning.


The BMW X5 handles like the company's famed sports sedans, which is the top reason to consider this crossover. With an optional third row, its flexibility and styling make it one of our favorites. A 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six is standard; a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 and a turbo-diesel 3.0-liter inline-six are optional. As with all BMWs, be careful with options, or the price can escalate quickly.

Acura MDX

he MDX lists spirited handling as one of its key attributes; we think it offers some of the most fun you can have with a vehicle that has three rows of seats. All models come with a 290-hp V-6, a nine-speed automatic and front-wheel drive, but we recommend the all-wheel-drive version (known as Super Handling All-Wheel Drive). The MDX is quick and quiet; braking and handling are above average.

Volvo XC90

The XC90 is a handsome, square-jawed Swede striving to offer more efficiency and safety than its rivals while adding a dose of Scandinavian flair. Its 2.0-liter four-cylinder uses turbocharging and supercharging to create 316 hp and drives all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic. An 80-hp electric motor joins the party in plug-in hybrid models. There?s room for seven in the handsomely appointed interior, with deeply comfortable seats as well as Sensus, Volvo's new infotainment system.

Audi Q7

As chic as it is spacious, few three-row vehicles can top the Q7 when it comes to mixing style with utility. Three available engines offer varying degrees of power and economy. A supercharged V-6 comes in 280-hp or 333-hp versions, while the turbo-diesel V-6 makes 240 hp and 406 lb-ft and delivers 28 mpg on the highway. An eight-speed automatic is standard on all, as is all-wheel drive. An optional air suspension allows the driver to tailor ride and handling. An all-new Q7 debuts in mid-2015.

Porsche Cayenne

The Cayenne is a spicy-hot mix of luxury, off-road ability, and sports-car performance?just what you would expect in a Porsche SUV. The base model has a 300-hp V-6, while the S makes 420 hp and the GTS makes 440; both have a twin-turbo V-6. For fuel-economy fans, a diesel and a hybrid are also offered. All models feature eight-speed automatics and all-wheel drive. Being a Porsche, the Cayenne has a lot to live up to, so it?s easy to hustle around curves and is equally ready for family errands.